Acquisition of Israeli Radars – First Phase of Czech Air Defense Modernization

The Czech Army 25th Air Defence Missile Regiment based in Strakonice, south Bohemia, has four Soviet-made KUB systems equipped with missiles whose lifespan will expire in 2020. The SA-6B GAINFUL Mod 1 is the last version of the system with reinforced protection to electronic jamming. It was produced until 1992 and is slated for replacement in the 2020 period. Photo: Czech MOD

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), Elta Systems division, was selected to deliver eight ELM 2084 MultiMission Radar (MMR) systems to upgrade the air defense systems of the Czech Republic. The radar that already supports Israel’s Iron Dome and David’s Sling air defense systems has also been ordered and delivered to some countries worldwide.

The cost of the eight systems is likely to total $125 million. The contract was awarded to IAI in 2019. The Czech Republic published an international tender to acquire new 3D mobile air defense radars (3D MADR) to replace the target acquisition radars associated with the Russian-built SA-6 (2K12 KUB CZ) anti-aircraft missile systems the Czech military received in 1991.

Prague considered replacing these SAMs with western weapons that would be compatible with NATO systems and extend the range and altitude of the systems beyond the capability of the SA-6. Raytheon, MBDA and IAI are among the likely candidates to compete for the SA-6 replacement opportunity.

Based on the latest agile electronic scanned array (AESA) technology, the 3D MADR provides larger area coverage, handles more targets simultaneously, and more immune to electronic attack, thus improving air defense systems performance.

The selection of the ELM 2084 is associated with the planned SAM acquisition. The current tender covered the radars associated with the system. The MADR systems will be delivered in 2021, tested, licensed, and inducted in service by 2023. The systems will be adapted to operate in accordance with the Czech and NATO command and control systems. IAI won over Saab and Thales that were also among the finalists.

Earlier the Czech Army considered modernizing the 2K12 KUB CZ by replacing the original Vympel 3M9M3 interceptors with Italian MBDA Aspide 2000 missiles and a new fire control system provided by Retia, a local integrator. However, this modification was not pursued.

The EL/M-2284 Multi-Mode Radar produced by IAI Elta for the David’s Sling, is also used with Israel’s upgraded Iron Dome units. This radar was also selected by the Czech MOD for the 3D MADR program. Photo: IMOD